Rituals of Parting

When I tell people about my family they are often puzzled at how well we stay together even after we separate and divorce. We are collection of ex’s, “presents” and “futures” that still enjoy spending time together.

My family agrees that our bond is “bigger” than our breakups and we are willing to do the hard work of cultivating closeness after separation.

Transitioning through separation and divorce can be one of the greatest challenges of your life. There seem to be pitfalls all along the way.

Creating rituals to move through the transition will keep you clearly on course.

When my ex-husband and I were drawing up our separation agreement we met every other Thursday night to discuss our options. It was the deep of winter and we had a ritual of building a fire in the fireplace and letting its warmth influence our conversation.

Our ritual of warmth had a steadying influence on the process of creating a separation agreement that was comfortable to both of us.

If you are the one who stays in the family home after separation, it’s important to change your environment in some way.

Create a ritual to acknowledge the transition of being part of a couple to being single. Walk from room to room and removed at least one thing that reminds you of togetherness (a photo, a painting you purchased together, the placement of the furniture) and I add one thing that’s new (a decorative pillow, a candle, an work of art).

This ritual of change will shore you up by helping to open the way to your new sense of self.

Writing a farewell note when you separate is a beautiful ritual. It’s so important to open the door to a relationship newly defined especially if you have children. Choose a beautiful card and write some simple words of love. “I wish you well”. “I’m so sorry”. “Thank you for leaving me”. “I appreciate who you are”.

The ritual of writing a farewell note is a loving way to move through an ending and will set a positive tone for your new relationship.

When I work with clients in times of relationship change, the rituals we create serve as lifelines and keep them securely on a path of integrity.

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